Cricket Australia (CA) has postponed its two-Test tour of Bangladesh because of security concerns and has not said when a tour could take place.
CA officials returned from security briefings in Dhaka on Tuesday night before holding further discussions with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The decision follows a suspected terrorist attack in Dhaka, with the Islamic State militant group claiming responsibility for the shooting death of a 50-year-old Italian aid worker.
DFAT has reissued its travel advice for Bangladesh twice in the past week to highlight its concern about the threat of terrorism.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement on Thursday he had been left with no choice but to put the tour on hold indefinitely.
“Over the last few days we have sought to obtain as much information as possible about the risks for Australians travelling to Bangladesh,” Sutherland said.
“We had hoped that the security concerns would fade, but unfortunately the advice we have received from government, our own security experts and independent security advisors has clearly indicated that there are now high risks to our people should they make the trip.
“We have worked tirelessly to try to find a way for the tour to proceed, but in the end it was simply not possible.”
The Australia tour squad was scheduled to leave for Bangladesh on Monday, before CA decided at the weekend to delay the departure.
ASIO and DFAT had approached the governing body on Friday with advice about a potential security risk to Australians in Bangladesh.
Sutherland said he knew how disappointed the country would be and said he will work with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) “to reschedule the tour as soon as possible”.
“Bangladesh is clearly on the rise as a cricketing nation and our new-look Australian team was looking forward to the challenge of playing this series,” he said.
“From the moment we raised our concerns with the BCB they have been cooperative and most understanding of the situation.
“Together with the Bangladeshi government, they left no stone unturned in trying to allay our concerns and we are most appreciative of that.
Australia was to play a Board XI in a three-day warm-up match starting October 3 in Fatullah before the first Test in Chittagong was to begin on October 9. – [ABC]